Aqua Food Park To Put Lives At Stake

  • Harassment to farmers
    in the name of Aqua Food Park
  • Over-enthusiasm of the
    police supported by the CM
  • Lotty charge for
    resisting the construction
  • Aqua park polluting
  • Lives in five mandals
    under stake
  • Section 144 in
  • YSRCP in support of
    the victims
  • YS Jagan’s tour in the
    area tomorrow

West Godavari: People of that village have to present their
Aadhar card even to step out and walk on the streets. Children going to school
in their buses are being checked. The police are everywhere on the streets.
Permission needs to be sought to go out of the village. Outsiders are being scrutinized
before entering. It seems to be a prohibited area. Cases are imposed on the
villagers for no cause. They are carrying out their agricultural activities in
secret. Imprisonment is certain if they speak up. Oppression and lotty charge
have become common. Movement is being built up through unity to struggle
against the tyranny. Drawing inspiration from the people of the village, people
from five mandals came forward and raised slogans resisting oppression going on
with their freedom. People from a total of 33 villages united. The village is
Tundurru of West Godavari district.

Here is what happened…

Two men, Ananda Raju
and Ranganatha Raju bought 50 acres of land in 2010 at Tundurru. Nobody was
informed about the construction of aqua food park intended in the area. The
information gradually came out as the work began. About Rs.360 crore is being
spent for the construction of the aqua food park. Rs.120 crore was spent first.
It was heard that the Government would give Rs.75 crore subsidy. People started
to worry about the direct affect the park would have on five mandals. The
factory has the capacity to purify 4000 tons of prawns, crabs and fish every
day. For this, tons of ammonia and other chemicals will be used and drained
into Gontheru canal.

This resulted in fear
among the people of Tundurru and other villages. The agricultural lands that
would otherwise yield three crops annually, would turn into waste lands due to
groundwater pollution, as argued by experts and people. On the other hand, the
fishermen families who depend on fishing in saltwater lakes of Narsapuram, Bhimavaram
and Mogaltur mandals will be deprived of their livelihood. There are almost
20,000 fishermen in the three mandals alone. 30,000 acres of ayacut area will
be polluted in five mandals if the project is constructed. People are demanding
for the construction of the factory in a shore area instead. With strong
resistance shown by the people, the construction came to a halt for almost 8

CM’s intervention
resumed the work

Although people could
show resistance and bring the construction to a temporary halt through dharnas
and strikes, AP CM Chandrababu held a public meeting at Chittavaram of
Narsapuram mandal on the 20th of June, accelerating the construction
work with his announcement about it. Farmers were left helpless with no support
from the ruler himself. They resorted to fighting again. The police started
helping with even transportation of cement, sand and iron.

Lotty charge and false
cases on farmers

As people did not go back
on their struggle, 700 police were posted in the area to control them. Cases
were registered against 200 people resisting the project under section 120.
Murder attempt cases were filed against 30 more people under section 307,
imprisoning all of them. People who would want to go out in the morning also
were asked to present their Aadhar cards. It has become difficult to even send
children to schools. With section 144 in place, farmers had to go in the
midnight to add fertilizers to their crops. People showing resistance had to
take the blow of lotties. Tyranny is ruling the area with tension built up like
in border areas.

With support from ruling party MLAs

TDP MLAs of Narsapuram
and Bhimavaram, Bandaru Madhava Naidu and Puliparthi Ramajaneyulu, who
supported the people’s struggle in the initial days, backed off later as the
struggle strengthened. After learning that the construction of the factory was
backed by the CM, they decided to retreat. They started to speak in support of
the factory and pass statements that it would ensure bright future through
employment opportunities.

Should we die or

In light of continuing
construction of the factory, people are questioning if they have to die to
escape from the permanent damage being caused by the park or migrate to far off
areas. Farmers are gradually being
chased away from their livelihood. Godavari districts that are otherwise rich
in water resources, are taking the blow of pollution. Gontheru canal, that
usually provides drinking water and irrigation water is going to become toxic
soon. Narsapuram, Bhimavaram, Veeravasaram, Mogalturu and Palakol mandals are
dependent on this canal. Factories are actually supposed to be set up in shore
areas to avoid this kind of damage. But the Government seems to be indifferent
to this danger.

Support from YSRCP

In light of the
tension built up in West Godavari due to the ongoing construction of aqua food
park, the resistance posed from the people and the oppression measures taken up
by the Government, YSRCP teams have already visited the areas and reported the
situation to YSRCP president YS Jagan. He is going to visit the areas to meet
the victims and console them. He will assure them of his support and fill
confidence and courage in them.


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